Seaweed Snacks

Seaweed, a word that used to be solely in my vocabulary in relation to starfish and shell collecting on the beach, has now solidly shifted into my food related vocab list!

This week, on #TDapproved, I thought we should look at this food that is a nutritional powerhouse, that appears to be making its way onto the mainstream shopping isle shelves (and rightfully so!).

seaweed

seaweed

Seaweed has been consumed as part of Japanese and Chinese cultures for many thousands of years, and it seems consumers in these countries have been enjoying some very significant nutritional benefits which only recently are sneaking their way into the more Westernized diets.

sushi seaweed

Seaweed is now featuring more than ever before in Western cultures as a part of snacks or menu items.. Let’s explore this a little further shall we…

Most of the seaweed based products appear to be produced in Japan, China, Republic of Korea, France, Ireland and Nova Scotia. There are many species of seaweed, and they can appear in many different forms; such as ‘nori’ wraps in sushi, ‘dulse’ in chowders and salads, or as ‘spirulina’ in supplement form.

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There are actually many different coloured varieties of seaweed, including: brown, red and green species; it is the latter two which have the highest protein contents, and with these contents varying from anywhere between 10-47% of the dry mass.

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The nori and dulse species, which are red and green seaweed species respectively, have been found to have protein levels higher than those found in high protein pulses such as soybeans! ….Getting interesting now, isn’t it?!

Traditionally, seaweed has widely been used in Asian cuisine, however more and more we are seeing the emergence of new and innovative seaweed based products; for example: Annie Chun’s seaweed snacks which include roasted seaweed in flavours such as wasabi, cracked pepper and herbs, and brown sugar and sea salt. Yum!

seaweed-snacks

The amino acid (AA) composition of seaweed varies slightly depending on the species, but for most seaweeds, aspartic and glutamic acids are the major AAs. Some species have higher levels of leucine, valine and methionine, and these amino acids are generally well represented in most seaweeds.

Seaweed has impressive levels of iron, magnesium, folate and managanese, but they does also typically have sodium levels around 87mg per 10g (this is for raw wakame, which you find in dried sheet form); people on low sodium diets should factor this in when consuming seaweed in their diet.

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Plenty of goodness to be had here with seaweed, and in my opinion, seaweed based products are a fantastic nutritious snack to have in your healthy eating arsenal.

Do you have a favourite seaweed based products? I would love to hear about or see them!

Until next week….

TD x

About The Author

Kara Landau aka "Travelling Dietitian" is an Australian Accredited Practicing Dietitian based in New York City. She is a world explorer, healthy foodie, social butterfly, and barre class lover. When she isn't trying new cuisines, researching new product innovations in the health food space, or speaking to the media on behalf of her food industry clients, she can be found quietly conjuring up her next idea in how to make this world a healthier and better place.

3 Responses

  1. #TDapproved Healthy Dairy Free Coconut Based Ice-Cream – Nushies Natural | The Travelling Dietitian

    […] emulsifier and thickener (you can check out more on seaweed based products in my #TDApproved post here from a few weeks back if this category of food items sparks your […]

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